Reflets dans l’eau

6 September 2020 in Music

“Performance is dead,” he said. And I crumple. Performance is something I believe in. To perform music—on the piano, accordion, toy piano, or with voice—is to advocate for being alive. To perform is to take the stance that “liveness” matters, more so than recordings, film, or videos; paintings, sculptures, or edited text. Simply put, performing—or rather, playing piano—is me at my best. I would not consider myself a great pianist, nor can I claim any achievements derived from playing. But, I was my best as a pianist, a performing pianist. Playing piano, as I did for ballet classes or church services or, once, in a chic gallery in New York City, requires complete presence. Admittedly, there are moments in between—when
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Monster’s Coffin

6 March 2020 in Heather, Writing

When I was half as high as the door between the kitchen and the garage, I caught a fever for the world between the real and the imaginary. Each side of the threshold was familiar: On one side, in the kitchen, everything was clean and tidy, matching and spotless, useful and practical. ’Twas the pride of an A+ homemaker. On the other side was the garage, poorly lit from one small eastern-facing window, everything shadow and suspect, grime and dirt, mysterious and unknown. I hovered on the threshold, comforted by the orderly precision of my mother’s kitchen but attracted to the objects in the garage that could be whatever I told them to be. The woodpile, the deep freeze, the
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9 November 2019 in Writing

We’re kissing, but only because I initiated it. And is—is he cringing? Beneath the hardening wax stamp of our lips, he confesses, “I don’t like kissing. It’s the only reason I hadn’t … sooner.” We’re frozen in eternal slow motion, and he also tells me he prefers double time. “Double speed?” I ask, without yielding any flesh. “Isn’t that unintelligible?” He reassures me that listening presto to others dissecting the lives of others dissecting the lives of others is an insurance policy against dementia in forty years. “Anything to forge new pathways in the neural network.” I focus on the kiss at hand, but wonder at what point did we slip from the two of us, exchanging cells, to others
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17 October 2019 in Writing

She and I are friends, but we meet to share all the things we dislike about ourselves. We sit at the edge of the field watching the tall grass sway back and forth. “A thing I dislike,” I say. “How I bend to the wind, like this grass.” She agrees, “Not knowing what I want and letting the breeze crush me, exposing the brown soil at the seam. Yes.” We watch the grasses yield to the wind. The ones closest to us are turning to straw, but on the other side of the deep blue scar between fields, the reeds stand triumphant and green and the willows moan low and gray. “A thing I dislike,” I say. “How people call
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Ma Valise

15 October 2019 in Writing

At the end of their relationship, she packed a small blue suitcase, scolded her cat for biting the handle, and left Los Angeles for the convent. In the crook of her arm, she carried his brain in a jar. Ball jar. Rubber ring seal. The pickled eternal he always wanted to be. Together they took up residence in a small room on the second floor above the cheese cave. Every day smelled like a new age of cheese. She placed the jar on the corner of the desk where it could sunbathe from three to four each afternoon. After the sun passed, she pressed her ear against the glass, curious if he was still thinking. She swore she heard him
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Spell for Reclamation

10 September 2019 in Heather

Get in the car and bring him back from the bottom of the world. Knit a sweater, but not while driving. When you arrive, that’s the time for knitting– Real-time knitting, around and around his protesting form. Close the door before he attempts to head out for a hike. But, oh. You hold the yarn; you’ll know where to find him. On the trail where together you once saw rabbits, On the trail where together you witnessed the fog strangle the sunset, And you agreed, “Don’t tell anyone.” Keep knitting the collar, high, higher, up to his chin, over his mouth. Now he’ll never tell. Finish the knit and fold him neatly into the passenger seat. Then get in the
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